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Old 31st August 2020, 16:47   #1
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Default Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

I profoundly remember my Dad showing me this cover of Auto India magazine featuring Mercedes-Benz W124 E Class way back in 1995 and telling me "One day, I'll buy this car.":

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-ekdtiru8aavawm.jpg

Dreams do come true.. in our case a bit late. 1st June 2015, my Mom & Dad's 33rd Anniversary we got a W205 C Class home. It was a big deal for us and one of the happiest moment in a car guy's life. Our first premium car and boy it did felt the different breed. My love for Mercedes-Benz grew over the years and I developed a liking for the older Mercedes-Benz models especially W113(SL) & W123 chasis.
Meanwhile, I was also introduced to Mercedes Benz India Owners(MBIO) Facebook group where lots of enthusiasts discussed and interacted about their old & new MB cars. I also followed some of the W124 threads on Team-BHP. My love for W124 developed like greasy taste of old scotch. Although, I wasn't confident for ownership. The wrong car can land you in deep trouble and nightmare of ownership. MB service center parts and repairs are too expensive. The right car will be trouble-free most of the ownership period and will last decades.

Around October 2018, one fine day I saw a post regarding the sale of two W124s by a member in MBIO FB group. The guy was an active member of Team-BHP and very informative. I sent him a casual FB message and waited for a reply. I checked for the reply for a week, didn't get any. Eventually I lost interest. The reply did came a month later. It took me another month to gather enough enthusiasm and reply to his message. Finally, we exchanged numbers in December 2018 and discussions began on WhatsApp.

The seller, Viraat13 owned two W124s: 1988 300E & 1996 E220. 1988 300E was CBU imported from Germany, M103 3000cc straight six engine with manual gearbox and was restored in 2013 with AMG Mystic Blue paint job. It had Bilstein euro-spec sports suspension and MB 190 EvoII R17 rims with 225/45 tyres. The car was arguably one of the best built W124 in the country. The other one was a 1996 E220 CKD assembled in India(TELCO) with M111.960 engine(2200cc four cylinder with 4 valves per cylinder) producing 150PS of power and 210Nm of torque. This car was completely stock, had done 1.14 lakh kms, with decent paint condition and black leather interior. This was my choice as it was facelift, more modern and had Airbags & ABS. I felt this would be the perfect project car.

The Purchase:
We fixed the deal through whatsapp after exchanging detailed pictures and videos of the car all around. Here are some pictures which I received from him during our initial discussions which made my decision:

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-whatsapp-image-20200830-17.00.58-5.jpeg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-whatsapp-image-20200830-17.00.58-8.jpeg

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About the history of the car, I got to know the following: The car is a 1996 make, originally bought and registered in New Delhi. The first owner is the promoter of a leading Syringe brand in India. The car has changed hands three times and Viraat's Dad was the third owner since 2010. All the first three owners knew each other and the car has always been in good hands. Most of the ownership updates and logs were also documented on Team-BHP by @Viraat13 which made me confident.
After finalizing and locking the deal I asked @Viraat13 to diagnose issues that needed attention. Upon my request, the car was taken to his trusted mechanic for diagnose. Following parts were replaced :
- Tie Rods (Meyle)
- Ball Joints (Febi-Bilstein)
- Steering and Tie Rod end Shocker
- Front Damper Covers
- Gever Lever Bushes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Ratios
- Headlight Switch Assembly (Meyle)
- Gear Oil
- Differential Oil

Some extra consumable spares also sourced :
- Air Filter (Hengst)
- Oil Filter (Hengst)
- Original Wiper 24" (Bosch)
- Extra Set of Fuses

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-whatsapp-image-20200830-17.33.25-10.jpeg

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Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-whatsapp-image-20200830-17.33.25.jpeg

Tie Rods & Ball Joints would've lasted another year but I got them changed as I wanted the car to drive and feel like new. Viraat's Dad overlooked the repairs and they sourced the best parts possible(all made in Germany). Some lathe work was also done on brake calipers and suspension. All of the mechanical job was overlooked by Viraat upon my request, while I was still in Nagpur.

So the plan was to collect the car and drive it from New Delhi to Nagpur. Initially we'd planned to take our V-Cross as a support vehicle to bring the W124 back. I was sceptical about doing a long journey in a 24 year old car but Viraat was confident and had told me about his long journeys to Himachal and Madhya Pradesh in this car. So we decided to bring alone the W124 to Nagpur. I along with my Manager reached Delhi on Sunday, 17th March 2019 and reached Viraat's place. Saw the car for the first time :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190317_174136.jpg

I was impressed with the immaculate leather interior. This is my first pre-owned car and I was happy that I made the right choice. I took a small test drive and it felt completely analog. Very much different from what we drive these days. I was mighty impressed and excited as well. We finished the paperwork and I was instructed the do's and don'ts. Viraat and his Dad were emotional about letting the car go, had it not been NGT ban they wouldn't sell this car ever. They've taken good care of the car and spent a fortune keeping it spick and span in 9 years of their ownership. We set off for Nagpur the next morning at 5AM, Viraat and his Dad accompanied us till Noida Expressway. We bid farewell and set off for a 1100km journey to Nagpur. Our travel route was Delhi-Gwalior-Jhansi-Lalitpur-Sagar-Lakhnadon-Nagpur.

The Driving Experience:
We begun our journey from Yamuna Expressway. It took some 15-20 minutes to adjust and get acquainted with the car. The steering felt solid and completely analog, throttle being cable-driven also felt the same. The car had been very less driven past one year(due to NGT ban in Delhi) hence took its own sweet time to break-in. New steering and suspension parts also needed to break-in. Car feels solid, built like a tank and felt extremely planted at triple digit speeds. The supension felt like ace. Ride was simply outstanding and cushions out road undulations and potholes beautifully. We faced some bad roads and traffic between Gwalior to Jhansi. About the negatives:
- I felt the car was somehow liked choked. It was not revving free and took a sweet time to accelerate. This was due to being very less driven and age. NVH was on higher side.
- Boaty handling. TELCO W124 have rough road package as standard. They came with high springs and HD dampers from S124(W124 Estate). Body roll was excessive. W124 isn't meant to be a corner-carver but higher ride height spoiled the fun.
- Clutch travel is long. Gear ratios are tall. Being a Mercedes-Benz, I feel the makers could've tuned it better.
- Brakes felt clumsy. ABS works fine though.

We did a night halt halfway at Lalitpur. I thouroughly enjoyed the second leg of the journey from Lalitpur to Nagpur. My hands were set on the car, there was minimal traffic, the roads were scenic and the car surprisingly felt much smoother and happier.

Some pictures I took during the journey:

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190318_070532.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190318_070604.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190318_070850.jpg

And finally after reaching home, meeting with garage mate:

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190319_190330.jpg

Next morning gave it a proper wash and mild detailing with Collinite 845.

Completely stock. She's beautiful, isn't she? :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190324_154415_962.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190908_151442.jpg

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Last edited by Aditya : 14th September 2020 at 16:33. Reason: Number plate blanked out on request
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Old 2nd September 2020, 13:24   #2
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Default The never ending series of Rolling-Restoration and Modifications

I started driving the car on day to day basis and faced few issues and niggles :
- The car won't hold idle. It was running too rich.
- Engine would overheat, Radiator Fan wasn't running.

I felt the fuel lines were clogged so put a bottle of Xado Verylube Complex Fuel System Cleaner with a full tank of Petrol. The engine smoothened a bit but the problem still persisted. Bugged Viraat and we diagnosed faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor. Also Radiator Fan fuse was blown so I replaced it with new 30A one. Viraat had converted this fuse from OE glass type to convenient regular one. I ordered a new Magneti Marelli MAF sensor from ebay.com. The parcel arrived from Poland within 8 days and I immediately hushed to try it out:

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-screenshot_20200902130813_instagram.jpg

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Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-screenshot_20200902130836_instagram.jpg

Replacing the MAF sensor is fairly easy. All you need is a Screw Driver and minimal DIY skills. A short video taken of the very first crank just after MAF sensor swap: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxhOht2n..._web_copy_link

This is how it looks after another weekend drive :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20200904_114046.jpg

New MAF fixed the idling issue. Car would now start at half crank. I also changed original Bosch horns to myTVS Trumpet organ type. I'm planning to change it again to electronic trumpet one. Similar to new gen. Mercedes-Benz cars.

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190324_143851.jpg

Ordered some aesthetic enhancing parts like Wheel Center Caps(similar to newer gen.), MB Key Chain, AMG Door Lock Pins & Aluminium Sport Pedals.

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190420_214706_617.jpg

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The car also had non original Sunvisor clips which do not fit correctly and rattle. So got original ones from a scrap 124.

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190417_100556.jpg

Got window tints all around.

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190326_210932.jpg

Drove the car like this for a month. Now it was time for some cosmetic enhancements.

Alloys:
Being a Project Car, I had already planned some upgrades even before taking the delivery. Wheel upgrade was top in the list. Initially I wanted to get the period correct AMG monoblock replicas but later ditched the idea as I wanted the car to look somewhat modern yet classy. Then I searched for used MB alloys, I found 3-4 listings in olx for W212, W205, W221 alloys. Came across a few individual sellers who were overambitious in pricing and were too snobby to negotiate with. Later realised that modern MB alloys have greater offset figure (ET 43 to 48) and would not fit without spacers. I need more negative offset i.e. ET in the range of 32 to 38. Next came the idea for AMG replicas. I searched with few Dealers in North India. Again too optimistic with the pricing and was never sure about build quality. No branding or idea about the factory also, load rating was uncertain. Load Rating is something each alloy buyer must be aware of. I learnt that a good quality alloy will have a better Load Rating figure and one should plan and research about it before buying. So AMG replicas were dropped. I researched & searched for almost a month finding the perfect set of alloy wheels and tyres. Bought these alloys from ASW Impex, Bangalore :

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Specs are :
17 inch 7.5J 112 PCD ET35 Center Bore 66.6 with Load Rating of 690kg per wheel. Colour: Hyper Silver.

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190415_163814.jpg

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Attachment 2050747

Test fit and a perfect match for W124 :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190415_130311.jpg

Tyres:
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 225/45ZR17. Choosing this tyre was absolutely no brainer. The best tyres currently available in India for this size. These were bought and installed at MHKS Tyres, Nagpur. Manufacturing week is 52 of 2018. These were bought on 15th April 2019. The latest ones I could find in Nagpur. Also installed new valves and got balancing and alignment done.

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190415_164215.jpg

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I wanted the alloys to be modern yet classy and subtle. New wheels enhanced the looks and handling altogether. Car was now turning heads. But higher GC and big wheel well gap was a sore to the eye. Handling improved with wider tyres, car felt more planted at higher speeds. Michelin PS4 are excellent tyres. Grip is phenomenal! They are quieter as well. I will be installing them on my W205 soon. I drove the car on short weekend trips and it was very tempting. This car was designed to be an Autobahn Cruiser and I must say driving a W124 on open highways is such a bliss. This car is a different animal after 80Kmph. Took the car to triple digit speeds and it was rock stable.

Some eye candy :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-screenshot_20200902130748_instagram.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-screenshot_20200902130759_instagram.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-screenshot_20200902130753_instagram.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 14th September 2020 at 21:15. Reason: Mention of high speed driving edited
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Old 11th September 2020, 15:31   #3
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Default The never ending series of Rolling-Restoration and Modifications..

DIY Install : Custom Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror Monitor

W124 is a Land Yacht. I wanted to install a Rear View Camera without spoiling OE looks. So bought an Auto Dimming Rear View Camera Monitor similar to the one in Hyundai i20 from Aliexpress. Now comes the problem, none of the Chinese sellers had W124 specific bracket. There were newer MB brackets available but none of it fit W124. So either I had to built a custom bracket or find some other way to install the Mirror. Luckily, I found a used OEM Mirror from the same Mayapuri Scrap Dealer. Plan was to salvage the OEM Mirror for bracket and somehow shoehorn the ball socket of the original mirror to new one.

OEM Mirror :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190516_185807.jpg

Salvaged to take out the bracket and ball socket :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190516_160351_807.jpg

W124 specific bracket :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190516_160351_808.jpg

Original Ball socket was then trimmed and glued to the Mirror Monitor :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190516_160351_809.jpg

Bracket then was attached. Putting back the bracket to ball socket was difficult as it was too tight. I was very careful to avoid any damage to the Mirror Monitor :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190516_160351_810.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190514_152743.jpg

The car was then taken to a local accessory shop for Camera fitment. Installed RD Reverse Camera with Dynamic Moving Lines (https://www.rdoverseas.in/product/ca...e-camera-m100/). It was slightly expensive but looked OE and neatly tucked inside the chrome panel above the Regn Plates. Accessory shop did the install under my supervision.
Old Car New Tech :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190516_160351_820.jpg

Here's a video of the camera working :
https://www.instagram.com/p/BxhS8KCH..._web_copy_link

Tow Hook Cover (Front Bumper part):
Car was missing tow hook cover in the front bumper. This made it look like toothless. This simple bumper part costs Rs.6500 from Mercedes Benz ASC. I paid Rs.1400 including shipping for Taiwanese built part that was sent from Bulgaria. I will recommend Taros Trade for rare Euro Car parts.

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190607_130830_797.jpg

Lowering to European spec height :

All the Indian assembled W124s came with rough road package as standard. They had longer springs and higher ground clearance compared to Imports or European spec W124s. The ground clearance of my W124 can shame some modern compact SUVs and the gap between front fenders to tyre was around 4-5 inches. Higher GC and soft suspension resulted boaty handling but the car having brilliant cushiony ride. I wanted the car to have a lower stance, better handling without compromising too much on ride comfort. I did not consider aftermarket Eibach or H&R springs as the drop will be too much compromising the practicality. Viraat helped me to source shorter European spec springs from a scrapped Import W124. Also procured 8mm Spring Shim Pads(no.1) for Front and Rear Springs. Procuring the spring pads were tricky as no.1 pads were not available with any spare dealers in Delhi or Mumbai. Bought the front pads from US dealer and rear pads from a seller in Lithuania via ebay. Further, I also bought Mercedes-Benz R129 SL front strut mounts. The difference is R129 strut mounts allows strut to sit 1.5 inches higher than W124 mounts which allows further drop of 0.5 to 1 inch and better travel for the strut so the ride is comfortable regardless of the drop.

The Car with stock rough road suspension, before :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190908_172921.jpg

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Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190908_1501844.jpg

The new old springs from a salvaged imported W124. Note the red single dot on the penultimate coil. Red signifies shorter spring :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190925_223001_873.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190916_142156.jpg

Rear Red Dot Springs had some surface rust on them so got it painted to matte black :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img20190918wa0011.jpg

R129 SL Strut Mounts :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190925_124703_329.jpg

Comparsion of R129 vs stock W124 Strut Mounts :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img20190918wa0026.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20190925_123022.jpg

Old springs(blue dot) removed. New shim pads(no.1; 8mm) and Euro Springs installed:

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190925_223001_875.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20190925_223001_878.jpg

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Rear Shocks had sagged due to age. They were original from the factory. Bought new Sachs 316945 shocks which are OE Sportline Shocks :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img_20191230_104433_366.jpg

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Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-screenshot_20200325160814_instagram.jpg

Car just after suspension upgrade :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img20190918wa0023.jpg

The suspension took around 2 days and 50 Km of driving to settle down. Lowered European spec Springs and Sportline shocks have done wonders to the handling and high speed stability. Body roll is gone and the car feels tight. Ride quality is slightly compromised but not too much. It still has that magic carpet charm. I'm happy with the outcome and glad that I got the lowering done with all original parts. Here's how it looks after settling down :

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-img20191016wa0000.jpg

Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)-20200419_104846.jpg

More updates on brakes, headlight and paint restoration coming..

Last edited by bamaboy : 13th September 2020 at 13:00.
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Old 14th September 2020, 06:49   #4
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

Congratulations on owning one of the most iconic & legendary cars ever sold in India. Your W124 is going to our homepage today .
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Old 14th September 2020, 07:18   #5
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Congratulations man! You picked the right car. I have interacted with Viraat on WhatsApp and know his passion for the W124. I am sure he will be happy after reading this thread, there is nothing better than seeing your car in the hands of an enthusiast. Good job on the lower springs, they have changed the stance completely. Happy mile munching with the W124.
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Old 14th September 2020, 11:06   #6
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Congratulations for this beauty my friend !

The small and subtle modifications you had done looks perfect and classy for the car.

Every now and then I convince myself by saying "OK, Stop searching for a W124 to buy, this is not the car for 2020."

But man, some people like you keeps buying and rule the roads with it, and it again fires up the desire to own a W124!!
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Old 14th September 2020, 11:25   #7
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

That's a great look for the W124, classic yet modern. Congrats on the new ride.
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Old 14th September 2020, 11:54   #8
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Congratulations on the new ride bamaboy. The car surely looks killer with the new rims and suspension changes.
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Old 14th September 2020, 12:19   #9
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Fabulous! I know exactly what you mean by it feeling analogue. I so want an analogue car in my life. Congrats!!
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Old 14th September 2020, 12:30   #10
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attac...419_104846.jpg


This pic says it all..... A Superb car with an enthusiast.
May you enjoy the car for a long time to come.
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Old 14th September 2020, 12:49   #11
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Rahul bhai, so happy to see you here. I never made a thread about my car, yet here it is!

Thank you for taking such good care of the car, it always makes me happy and I know that I did the right thing.
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Old 14th September 2020, 13:08   #12
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Wow!! You picked the perfect ride and the perfect upgrades!!

The last couple of pics were ABSOLUTELY droolworthy and easy to ga-ga over!!

Absolute best mix of the vintage, lineage, ride and most minimal upgrades to make it 2020 ready! Wish you lots of great miles in this fab ride!
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Old 14th September 2020, 13:13   #13
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

What a lovely thread to start Monday morning. Took away all the blues from it. The car looks epic and have subscribed to see further upgrades.

I hope you will make it Gangsta spec Only thing I would suggest is to get a darker shade on wheels ( matte black or anthracite).

Cheers!
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Old 14th September 2020, 13:25   #14
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Thanks for penning this down - that's a beautiful car and it has aged so well.

Call me old-school (and maybe one of the minority), but I find the old alloys(?) looked nicer. Still, the newer ones grows on you - from the first picture that you posted to the last one, I was already starting to like them.



Btw tivia moment - that Auto India image has an interesting bike comparison

Hero Honda Splendor vs Bajaj 4S Champion vs Enfield Diesel!

I wonder how that comparison fared!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy View Post
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Old 14th September 2020, 13:30   #15
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Default Re: Young Gun Classic - My 1996 Mercedes-Benz E220 (W124)

Mod note: Post edited, please avoid typing like... this... Thanks.


Congrats mate, one of most beautiful nerds we had in india and with superb engineering, TELCO days. Wishing you happy ownership with the iconic MB.

Last edited by Jaggu : 14th September 2020 at 13:31.
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